Besides his role as Zeneca's executive director for research,technology and manufacturing, Peter Doyle continues aschairman of the seven-company multinational Advisory Groupon Biotechnology at the European Economic Commission. Thisgroup comprises these bio-giants :
Farmitalia Carlo Erba of Italy; Hoechst AG of Germany; ICI ofEngland; Monsanto-Europe of Belgium; Rhone-Poulenc Sant ofFrance; Sandoz Pharma Ltd. of Switzerland; Unilever Researchof the Netherlands.
Late last year, Doyle told BioWorld, they met with thepresident and vice-president of the commission, DavidWilliamson and Martin Bangamen, "to take stock and see whatneeded to be done" to improve biotechnology's acceptance inEurope. Outstanding problems include regulation, EEC directiveson contained and deliberate release of genetically engineeredproducts and "concerns in Europe about patenting new lifeforms, versus the position in the states."
"In Europe," Doyle explained, "present regulations are not -- asthey are in North America -- product-based. There is unwantedfocus on the technology by which you produce a product. Wehave been trying to shift the emphasis much more to a productbase."
"We also pointed out," he continued, "that we thought theexternal climate of opinion in Europe is antagonistic to theexploitation of biotechnology in a way we do not observe inNorth America. The U.S. is essentially pro-technology, despitereactionary forces represented by (Jeremy) Rifkin." He added:"I think there is much more opposition to technology in Europe,a deeper suspicion. A lot of that has to do with Germanattitudes and the influence of Germany in the EuropeanCommission."
By the middle of the year, at the latest, his Advisory Groupintends to present the Commission leaders with position papersaimed at ameliorating these shortcomings.
Meanwhile, Bangamen and other senior EEC representativeshave agreed to support "BioEurope '93," a two-daybiotechnology symposium June 1 and 2 in Brussels. This isbeing organized by the International Biotechnology Forum,together with national associations in the U.S., Canada, Japanand Europe.
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.